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Disaster Response

Urban Search and Rescue

Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) involves primarily the location, extrication, and initial medical stabilization of victims trapped in structural collapse due to natural disasters, mines, and collapsed trenches.


Of course, Urban search-and-rescue is not just for collapsed structures and Empact has responded to a variety of hazards including earthquakes, cyclones, storms and tornadoes, floods, landslides, disease outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics.
Empact is one of a very small group of non-governmental USAR Task Forces in the world and is the only internationally deployable non-governmental USAR Task Force in the United States.

USAR task forces are often categorized for standardization and Empact's Expeditionary Task Force currently meets the standards set for a FEMA Type III team or an INSARAG "light" classified team, with 60 rostered positions.


Empact Northwest is proud to be a participating agency in INSARAG's VOSOCC Program, the EMOPS DisasterAware Notification and Coordination Program, and the European Emergency Response Coordination Centre.


Disaster Search Canines

As part of Empact's robust disaster response capabilites, we're fortunate to have a cadre of highly trained certified disaster search canines.

These dogs play a vital role in quickly locating survivors so that they can be rescued just as quickly. The window of survival for trapped disaster victims diminishes exponentially by the day.  Together with their human partners, our canine members significantly decrease the amount of time it takes to locate and save these precious lives.

Disaster Medicine

Disaster medicine is the area of medical specialization serving the dual areas of providing health care to disaster survivors and providing medically related disaster preparation, disaster planning, disaster response, and disaster recovery leadership throughout the disaster life cycle. 

Disaster medicine is unique among the medical specialties in that, unlike all other areas of specialization, the disaster medicine specialist does not practice the full scope of the specialty every day but only in emergencies. Indeed, the disaster medicine specialist often hopes to never practice the full scope of skills required. 

Empact Northwest is proud to field a small but growing team of highly trained and qualified disaster response healthcare experts to provide direct care and surge capacity for overwhelmed local systems.  Empact's team is made up of physicians, mid-level providers, paramedics, nurses, EMT's, and allied health professionals and we are currently pursuing World Health Organization (WHO) disaster medical team classification.

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